Beer Profile: Ithaca Beer Company Happy Pils

Profiled by Maria Devan

The beer is 5% abv and uses for malt pilsner and pale malts. For hops the website says German “tettnag” – is that spelled wrong? Tettenang? Tettenanger? The hops are tettenang. The other hop they are using is listed as German mittlefruh. In my experience that is Hallertau mittlefruh or Hallertauer hops. See how the region then the hop variety is in the name, which denotes that these hops are specific to a region and that is because of the German language.

I am very excited about Ithaca brewing this beer. Cheers and Happy Two Beer Sunday!

The pour is yellow and a slight haze. A White head that falls fast and bubbles that rise are all over the glass. Thank you Kerry for this lovey new glass!

Nose is bready malt and lightly cool herbal hop. Spice and floral. These hops have a quality like earth and stemmy grass. There’s no fruity esters form yeast, no diacetyl, no dms on the nose. No fruit scent from hosp either. Nothing, no citrus. This is the noble hop at it’s very best. Soft sweet earth and a wonderful complexity all it’s own owing to terroir.

The taste is breaddy but softly with the addition of pale malt. The hop herbal is just forward. It’s actually the use of the pale malt that is showing me the juicy quality of these noble hops that are found in so many pale ale styles and with very different hops! Crisp clean and with only a the faintest trace of dms to usher in the crisp finish. Strong bitterness finishes the beer but it does not strip the flavors or the finish. It lingers bitter and clear.

Exemplary.

4.5

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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mdMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is a great beer writer. That’s Maria in the middle. The other two are not, but they are lucky to have her as a friend.

Beer Profile: Peche Mortel

(97 and 100 at BA, 100 and 99 @ RB!-PGA)

Profiled by Maria Devan

Today I have my friend Roger Addante to thank for sending me this beer Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel’s Peche Mortel. I don’t know how old the beer is but the notches are like the photo shows. Thank you Roger.

This was a beautiful way to start my day today. New Beer Sunday is coming.

Peche Mortel

Pours viscuous with a creamy head of light chocolate foam . Color is black, opaque. Bubbles leave a film and ring. They refresh on each tip to show you a sheet of khaki colored lace.
Nose is bold roast and coffee. Chocolate is born on the nose of the beer and it courts a dark fruit background that has been elevated to an airy perfume. Caramel.

Taste is chewy roast with a bitter edge and sumptuous dark coffee. Bakers chocolate glides over the palate lightly like silk as the lively espresso explodes with flavor. A small warming in the finish as the bitterness swells just a bit to show you the richness of the malt and a moment of sweetness that finishes the espresso coffee so authentically. It lingers with a touch of the alcohol to remind you this was strong. Lingering roastiness and a bittersweet drying of the palate.

I love this beer. Complex, textured and rich. Bold, even a touch aggressive. Peche Mortel is French for Mortal Sin.

4.5

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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__________________________________________Beer HERE

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mdMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is a great beer writer. That’s Maria in the middle. The other two are not, but they are lucky to have her as a friend.

How to Build a Hopback

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Homebrewers love hops—it’s no secret. You will always remember the first time you smelled those powerful pellets drop into the kettle. The little bitter cones give beer life, personality and uncanny edginess. Without them, beer would often times be unbalanced, overly sweet and uninteresting.

Hops are so important, some people devote their entire lives to the plant—hop fascination transformed into obsession.

The “hop heads” out there, like Tom Lewis from Cheshire, England, are always looking for ways to push the hoppy envelope in their homebrews. A hopback is the perfect way to infuse fresh-hop character in beer just before it hits your glass. Check out Tom’s easy-to-build hopback project below!

Inspiration

At one of our local homebrew meetings, a few homebrewers and I were discussing ways we cram as many hops as possible into our IPAs (the beer style that dominated that particular meeting). One of our local brewers from the Cheshire Brew House was explaining future upgrades to our systems and how he wanted to build a custom hopback because his Blichmann HopRocket™ was too small.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

InBev’s Latest Tactics…

After years of playing the cold-hearted, uncaring, starch-shirted executive, A-B InBev now is like The Grinch. You could say that going into the business of love, ABI somehow found its heart. Looking to hook up with someone young and sexy, ABI is spreading its love in acquiring craft breweries. There are some areas leading the thoughts about where it may go, but more on that later.

It all started with a shy dance in 2011, when after recognizing its sagging bottom line in beer sales, ABI purchased Goose Island. For years ABI’s business plan was so routine and mundane, the most fun it ever had was rolling out commercials with horses and dogs, as well as the occasional new, tasteless beer.

But then the beer market changed. Bud sales dropped faster than Ronda Rousey and craft beer started eating up that precious shelf space. Business meetings inside ABI bunkers suddenly got very serious and purchasing successful craft breweries became the newest strategy. The idea of course, was to move the Budweiser brands along with their new products and eventually get a stranglehold on distribution.

Ironic isn’t it, that ABI can no longer compete in the very same field in which it is a leader, and instead of being someone that would build it, brew it and sell it, ABI will buy it. While considering more acquisitions, ABI is basically pleading no contest in acknowledging this, only to say, “Move along, nothing to see here.”

As if it found the fountain of youth, ABI’s confidence has skyrocketed over the last two years. After Goose Island, here are its American craft beer conquests:

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

Making Beer with a Sous Vide Immersion Cooker

Sous-vide is the process of cooking food sealed in an airtight bag by submerging it in a bath of heated water.

The idea is that sous vide, a French technique that translates into “under vacuum,” allows food to be cooked at a precise temperature that is much lower than usual but for a longer period. When cooking steak, for example, the sous vide technique evenly cooks the meat throughout and retains moisture and aromas all without overcooking the outside.

So what does this have to do with making beer at home?sous vide beer

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

Beer Profile: Triple Crown

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Profile by Maria Devan

Middle Ages Tripel Crown. Another good beer from them.

Beer-Profile3triple2Pours hazy yellow with a slight orange blush. The color is the color of ripe apricot. So many tripels look just like this with a perfect stream of bubbles that rises form the center. White head in the tasting glass I cant’ speak to it. Fruity nose with lots of earth.

Nose is fragrant with wheat and with spice. Pear. Clove is demure and perfumey and there is coriander. No actual citrus on this nose but the ringwood yeast is tangy and shows you that element. Sweaty, vibrant No alcohol on the nose. The beer is light like a soft sweet little punch.

No real biting carbonation despite the stream of bubble you can make out through the haze. Still, it drinks bready from wheat and very creamy . Esters from yeast are crisp like banana peel. Not overly ripe banana that smells like bubblegum. Spice clove and a good hoppy finish. Bitterness reveals a light floral and the soft pear as the earth that was so deep literally evaporates on your palate to reveal a soft alcohol presence that has no sting at all. A mouthfeel that is deceptively light.

Outstanding.

4.5

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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__________________________________________Beer HERE

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mdMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is a great beer writer. That’s Maria in the middle. The other two are not, but they are lucky to have her as a friend.